A man featured in a video that went viral on social media last week claims that he was set up by someone who offered him $10,000 to say that he was collecting ballots for far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Project Veritas pushed back against these claims, according to the Daily Wire.
“Liban Osman is featured prominently in a video released last week by the conservative media operation Project Veritas claiming there is ‘massive voter fraud’ in Minnesota orchestrated by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar,” FOX 9 reported. “In his first interview, Liban Osman tells the FOX 9 Investigators he was offered $10,000 by community activist Omar Jamal to say he was collecting ballots for Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.”
In the video, Osman noted: “Just today we got 300 for Jamal Osman. I have 300 ballots in my car right now.” Newsweek reportedly identified the man’s last name as Mohamed, not Osman.
“It’s insane,” Osman told FOX 9 in apparent reference to Jamal. “He was setting me up.”
FOX 9 reported that Liban Osman admitted the Project Veritas video footage does look incriminating, but he added that the group deliberately left the full context on the cutting-room floor. Project Veritas used two separate videos he posted on Snapchat while driving in his car to make it appear as if he was illegally picking up ballots and offering money for votes, he said.
In a video in July, Osman stated that he was collecting mail-in ballots from sick and elderly voters who had requested them through the campaign.
Osman has denied that he filled out the ballots or altered them in any way. He added that what appears to be ballots laying on the dash of his car are actually just the envelopes the ballots came in, claiming that voters concerned about identity theft had asked him to shred the envelopes.
Though he was accused of having over 300 ballots in his car, he said that the actual number was around 20.
According to FOX 9, Osman reportedly claims that Jamal offered him $10,000 to say that he was harvesting ballots for Omar.
“He said, ‘Why are you defending Ilhan Omar? They (Project Veritas) are not after you or your brother. Why are you defending her?’” Osman claimed. “I told him he was insane and walked away.”
Project Veritas fired back: “These are wild, and crazy, and baseless accusations,” said Jered Ede, chief legal officer for Project Veritas. “This, to me, is a man who is drowning in the consequences of his own actions, who is trying to grasp at every possible straw to keep himself from going under.”
KARE 11 reported that ballot harvesting was temporarily permitted in Minnesota for a brief amount of time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the bombshell video distributed by Project Veritas, the Minneapolis Police Department’s Twitter account announced: “ALLEGATIONS OF VOTER FRAUD BEING EVALUATED. ✅ The MPD is aware of the allegations of vote harvesting. We are in the process of looking into the validity of those statements. No further information is available at this time on this.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s office said in a separate statement: “The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office has received no information or cases involving so-called ballot harvesting in any elections held in Hennepin County this year. If Project Veritas has evidence of election law violations, they should provide it to the Minneapolis Police Department.”
President Trump also took to Twitter to address the topic: “This is totally illegal. Hope that the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota has this, and other of her many misdeeds, under serious review??? If not, why not??? We will win Minnesota because of her, and law enforcement. Saved Minneapolis & Iron O Range!”
Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI) responded by tweeting: “Congress needs to pass our bipartisan bill to ban ballot harvesting so no one can exploit our sacred right to vote.”
Gabbard took to Twitter shortly after, tweeting again: “Project Veritas offers further evidence of the need to ban ballot harvesting. It’s not a partisan issue. It’s been abused to help both R & D candidates, including in North Carolina & California. Please help by telling your congressional rep to pass our bipartisan bill HR8285.”